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Wanderlust Conquers ALL – Amanda Becomes a Hobo

There is something that calls out to a traveler, it is a whispering in the ear, it is the wind in the willows, it is the feeling that you get in the morning that you can only interpret as meaning, “I must go, I must go.”

It is a calling that never ceases. You cannot escape it, you cannot hide from it. It not only comes from inside of you, it IS you.

It is the Wanderlust.

Wade from www.VagabondJourney.com
Santa Fe, USA, Early December, 2009
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Those who the Wanderlust afflicts have no choice but to abide by its demands: you must travel. there is no way to cure this condition, you can only assuage the symptoms.

If the Wanderlust has bitten you and injected its poison, you will have it flowing through your veins for the rest of your life. Not even traveling can cure the Wanderlust, but standing still is a sure way to turn it pathological. You cannot just do a couple trips to get it out of your system. No, once you have the Wanderlust, it is yours to keep.

What you do with the Wanderlust is up to you. You can either travel today just to travel tomorrow, or you can let it destroy you. I chose to treat the symptoms and travel. I took the path of least resistance.

My friend Amanda wrote the following on her blog. I have not read many expositions of the Wanderlust spoken with so much clarity. I know what Amanda is feeling, as I read I sat at the edge of my seat, I rubbed my arms nervously — I know the feeling of staring out the window at a horizon that goes on forever, at dreams unending.

Amanda is writing real, she knows the Wanderlust — it is the carrot dangling before her nose and the bounce in her feet. It whispers in her ear, “Go! Go! Go!”

The Wanderlust is not logical, it does not take good reason into account. The Wanderlust does not listen when you sit it down and give it a lecture on responsibility and how it has to make something of its life. No, all the Wanderlust knows, all it needs to know, is “Go! Go! Go!”

Once you know this, once you know that there are no other answers, you can go too, without regret, and make something of your life on the heels of the Wanderlust.

A bird captured from the wild will often bang itself into the bars of its cage until it either escapes or dies. A traveler”s initial bouts of Wanderlust are very similar. Amanda is going through this now.

Amanda’s travel blog

“The wanderlust! Oh, it’s terribly and wonderfully powerful. It’s something that I can not ignore. It boggles my mind that so few people feel it at the intensity that I do.

Or maybe they do. I don’t know. I just know, from experience, that attempting to disregard the need to move is quite nearly impossible, for me. The only thing that will motivate me or make me excited in a time of complacency is the idea of going.

The mere idea of traveling awakens my soul.

And that’s worth leaving all the comforts behind.”

Read more from Amanda’s travel blog

It is the last line which called out to me that I should quote Amanda and republish this. Many people ask me about traveling with a “what if . . .” counter balance preceding their questions:

What about health insurance?

What are you going to do when you get old?

What if you run out of money?

What if you slip on a side walk in Cameroon, fall in a hole, and break your tailbone?

What if somebody GETS you?

Amanda answered these questions with finality:

“The mere idea of traveling awakens my soul.

And that’s worth leaving all the comforts behind.”

Read more from Amanda’s travel blog

I know that this “mere idea,” more than anything else, is worth more than any “what if . . .”

If you are stricken with the Wanderlust, there is no “what if” — no fear — strong enough to cure the affliction. If the Wanderlust flows through your veins, rest assured, you will find a way to travel, or bash your head into your cage until you croak.

Amanda has chosen not to croak. She chose to break out of her cage. She took what she could from University, dropped out, found a job as a traveling barista, and next week she will begin her career as a wandering hobo:

“Coffee+Travel+Music+Ren fests+An income+Living on the road=Very Happy Amanda

So, this will, in time, actually be a travel blog. And not a “I really want to travel” blog.”

Amanda has found the keys to unlock her Wanderlust. She learned how to save money, she is not afraid to work, I believe that she is willing to do what ever it takes to savor the taste of the Open Road — the sweet as well as the bitter.

More about Amanda on Vagabond Journey

Amanda Begins her Travels

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About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 80 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3161 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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Wade Shepard is currently in: Ulladulla, AustraliaMap